Wednesday, November 27, 2013

We're Back (Again)!

All righty, team: it's been awhile.  I've been pretty busy, but I'm hoping to get back in the blogging world very shortly, as I've got all SORTS of terribly exciting things to share with you from the classes I'm taking!  In the next few weeks, we should be learning about at least one thing from each of the classes that I'm taking this semester, including lactose intolerance (General Biology), "The Gray Wolf and the Prairie Dog: A Discussion of Keystone Species" (Environmental Systems: Climate and Vegetation), and "Evidence for Continental Drift" (Intro to Geology).  (If you know me, though, you know I rarely keep my promises when it comes to upcoming posts, I have the attention span of a squirrel.)  We will also be branching out a bit, too.  Branching up, I suppose, is more accurate: right up into space!  I am enrolled in a fantastic class called "Ancient Astronomies," taught by Professor John Stocke, which is a study of how ancient peoples used the heavens for calendars, religion, and much more.  It is super interesting, and really gotten me interested in space!  So in the next few weeks, you can also stay on the lookout for "Altair and Fomalhaut: Cold's Cottonwood and Big Woman," as well as a post about Venus!  Finally, I am hoping to combine what I've learned in all of my classes to tell you all about what I've learned regarding photosynthesis/chemosynthesis, life at the hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean, and what scientists are learning from these sun-independent ecosystems to predict whether life might exist on other planets and, if so, where to find it!  Tonight, I was researching the Chumash Indians of Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands of California for an upcoming paper for Ancient Astronomies, when I came across a word I didn't recognize.  The word, "anadromous," was used to describe a type of fish that was a mainstay in the diet of coastal tribes of Native Americans in California.  Unfamiliar with the word, I decided to look it up, and share it with ya'll!
A picture of Venus (the little glowing dot below the moon that isn't a street lamp) and the moon (which if you couldn't find before then you'll be extra lost now since then you couldn't find Venus).
A picture I took of the moon and Venus.  It looks blurry because it is.
What I got was more than I bargained for: the word itself wasn't necessarily complicated, but one thing led to another, and what we've ended up with is a series of four posts that I've made pertaining to this single word.  The first post is a look what it means to be anadromous, as well as the opposite of anadromous, "catadromous."  During my investigation of these two terms, I came across the North American eel, a catadromous fish that is native to the Atlantic Ocean and is found in many rivers along the coast.  Curious to learn more about the life cycle of this eel, as well as its spawning grounds in the Sargasso Sea, I consulted Dr. Joe Richardson, a marine biologist that conducts ecology tours on Tybee Island in Georgia.  After going on one of these fantastic tours several years ago, I asked Dr. Joe about doing a guest post on the blog.  He was very kind to oblige, and HERE is a link to that post.  He was also kind enough to answer several of my questions regarding the eel, as well as the Sargasso Sea, and the second post focuses on my discussions with him.
A picture of Dr. Joe Richardson holding up a Portuguese Man of War on one of his awesome Tybee Beach Ecology Tours!  Photo Credit:
I also wanted an example of an anadromous fish, and the classic example of one of these critters are many types of Pacific salmon.  To learn more about them, I consulted two fisherman who had come in to talk to my Outdoor Ed class last year.  They are both great people, really funny and very passionate about what they do.  I first talked with Wallace Westfeldt, the Head Guide at Front Range Anglers here in Boulder.  Wallace sent me several pictures and stories about fishing for salmon off the coast of Alaska, as well as in Idaho.  My interview with Mr. Westfeldt will be the third post, while the fourth post will be an interview with the second fisherman from my Outdoor Ed class, a man by the name of Larry Quilling, who also has had some interesting experiences fishing for Salmon in Alaska, as well as in Oregon.
Wallace Westfeldt holding a Steelhead salmon in Idaho.  By this point, these incredible fish have already swum 850 miles!  Photo Credit: Wallace Westfeldt 
Larry Quilling holding a spring Chinook salmon in the Trask River in Oregon.  Photo Credit: Larry Quilling.
I hope you all find this as interesting as I do!  Definitely glad to be back!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...